Summer BBQ tips with beer


A THRILLER in the chiller and on the griller, beer’s role at a BBQ is a brilliantly broad one. Not content with being a spectacularly flexible and flavoursome friend to flame-licked food, it’s also an essential and ingenious ingredient that no serious tong-wielding, modern day outdoor cooking king or queen can do without.

With more than 50 classic styles and a cornucopia of tastes and aromas, beer mingles effortlessly with pretty much anything that’s flipped off the grill. Hops give it the bitterness to slice through rich textures, malt the sweetness to parry charred and caramelised flavours while the bubbles cleanse the palate clean.

Surprise your friends next time they come to dinner

For a really magic marinade, mix in some beer. Maltier, darker beers like stout, porter and amber ales tend to shine in stronger, spicier marinades while more subtle and simple marinades, with just a sprinkle of seasoning, work well with more delicate drops – be they wheat beers, light pilsners or hoppy summer ales. Be wary of beer’s bitterness, it can overpower if overused. Less is more in a beer marinade.

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Summer Barbeque Tips

If using charcoal make sure that the coals have begun to turn ash-grey with a ‘ruddy’ glow. Do not attempt to cook over ‘flaming coals’ or if the heat has begun to dissipate and the coals have lost their ‘ruddy’ tinge!

Ensure that there are three key grill heat areas – high, medium and warming. This can be achieved by building a greater depth of coals and heat at one end and less depth at the other.

If using charcoal you can add to the traditional smoky flavour by adding wet hard-wood chips or vine clippings to the coals.

Another great grill tip is to ‘sear on high and grill on low’ Simply ‘sear’ food quickly on both sides on a high heat to retain flavour and juices, then either grill on medium or low heat according to the food being grilled. Turn no more than once or twice per side. Always use a spatula or tongs, do not prod and never ever use a fork, especially on sausages, as this just increases the possibility of ‘flare-ups!’

Remember ‘Burnt is Bad!’ Food should never be cooked on too high a heat or for too long , as this simply encourages it to burn on the outside and either ‘dry out’ or stay raw in the middle, creating a health hazard.